Tag Archives: video

Rob Martensen, Photo by Mike Mertes for AZ Big Media

VIDEO: Colliers’ Rob Martensen competes in Lucas Oil race

AZRE magazine interviewed Colliers International in Greater Phoenix Senior Vice President Rob Martensen, who recently competed in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler. Art Director Mike Mertes was there to film him in action on April 28. (Martensen is the blue vehicle before the end of the clip!)

Read a full interview with Martensen about his unique hobby in the July issue of AZRE.


CEO Series: Jeri Jones

Az Business: How is being CEO of UnitedHealthcare different from being CEO of another company?
Jeri Jones, CEO, UnitedHealthcare: In the healthcare industry today, where we have been portrayed somewhat as the evil-doers of healthcare and increased costs, we spend a lot of time trying to educate those in the marketplace about what drives healthcare. That may be different from what a manufacturing company has to do every day. I also find myself more involved with legislators than I think I would expect in a different industry.

Video by Cory Bergquist

AB: How do you like working with legislators?
JJ: I have worked in two markets — Colorado and Arizona. Legislators in Colorado seem a little more reasoned in terms of making decisions. Last year, the Arizona Legislature seemed to be very caught up in not wanting to have anything to do with the Obamacare Act, as they saw it. It’s very unfortunate because they missed the boat on some opportunities and made some decisions in 2012 that hurt the industry in terms of keeping some federal dollars out of Arizona that would have helped the hospitals and kept some costs from being shifted to the business market.

AB: What qualities does an effective CEO need to possess?
JJ: Leadership. If you have strong integrity and the ability to inspire people to do what they love to do, that is the key to being a good CEO. You also need to build a good team around you, have the right people in the right roles, and help them be the best that they can be in that role.

AB: What qualities do you have that helped take you to the top of your industry?
JJ: One of the things I have been able to do over the years is be a an effective coach and mentor. I am pretty strong in finding good people and helping guide them so they can realize their full potential and advance in their career.

AB: Did you have a coach or mentor?
JJ: My father was a big influence on me. He taught me the importance of having integrity, speaking my mind and being honest. His example has helped me remain forthright throughout my career.

AB: What’s been the biggest change you’ve seen in your industry since you started?
JJ: The old days of the HMO where everyone paid a $15 co-pay, compared with today, where it’s very consumer driven. Part of the reason healthcare got as expensive as it has over the years is that no one paid attention to what the cost was. Now, they have to.

AB: Health insurance exchange (HIX) is one the horizon. How is that going to impact UnitedHealthcare?
JJ: We see it as an additional avenue to sell our business. Hopefully, it will be in a way that aligns all of the carriers with very simple comparisons so everyone will be selling the same benefit plans and all the individuals looking will be able to identify quality versus value on the exchange and it will be a simpler tool for them to purchase. The advantage of the exchange in Arizona is that people will be able to move in and out of plans depending on their financial situation, but they will be able to stay with UnitedHealthcare.

AB: What advice would you give to other women who aspire to be in your position?
JJ: Stand strong, be confident, love what you’re doing and you’ll definitely succeed.

AB: If you weren’t doing what you’re doing, what would you like to do?
JJ: I would be traveling the world and having a good time, but I’ve got a few years to go before I’m ready to do that.

> Holds a B.S. degree in accounting from Northern Arizona University and is a C.P.A.
> After graduating from college, she traveled the country doing joint-venture audits of oil companies.
> Before returning to Arizona in 2011, she spent 21 years in Colorado.
> Member of the board of directors of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Interview Questions Never To Ask

3 Tips For Interviewing Like a Boss

People who interview well seem to do so effortlessly. While the rest of us waste time studying single-use, canned answers we’ll probably never use in the actual interview, these lucky few come in and rattle off brilliant responses without any preparation at all.

Prospective employers can present these breezy interviewees with surprise panel interviews, hairy logic problems, or uncomfortable salary questions and they’ll handle each thoughtfully, without panicking. Now, most of us aren’t like that, but we can learn a few things from those that are.

One distinguishable difference between these candidates and the rest of us is that they come into an interview without expectations of how it will be conducted. They go with an aim to learn and discuss if they’d be a good fit for the organization, not to prove that they will be. So, instead of pouring over a laundry list of stay-cool tips the days and night before your interview, check out the latest video from OnlineMBA to learn three easy-to-remember tricks to both appear and actually be more relaxed during your interview.

The video’s suggestions are simple. For instance, don’t bring a bag, beverage or an overcoat with you into the interview. Leave these things in the car. You’ll feel less like a cumbersome outsider with just a clipboard and a pen. And you’ll be grateful that you don’t have to pack up camp and awkwardly follow your interviewer to another office if he or she asks you to.

For those of us who are shaken up by changes in the pace, style or direction of an interview, simple barometers like remembering to mirror the excitement or volume level of the interviewer could be life-saving. Don’t high five unless you are high fived. Don’t laugh out loud unless they are laughing out loud. And remember, don’t over think your behavior beforehand–interviewers are paid to spot studied airs and canned responses.

Video by MinuteMBA


CEO Series: Jeremy Freer

Here is a Q&A with Jeremy Freer, CEO, Angel MedFlight, a Scottsdale-based air ambulance company that provides comprehensive worldwide air ambulance services.

What inspired you to start Angel MedFlight?
I grew up on a farm in Ohio and when I moved to Arizona for school, I worked as a flight paramedic that was doing something similar to what we do now at Angel MedFlight. During a break from school, I started thinking, “What am I doing and why am I doing it?” I wanted to do something with my life that I really loved and I loved the job as a flight paramedic, so I decided to start an air medical company, but I wanted to do it better.

Video by Cory Bergquist

How did a college student get the money to start an air ambulance company?
I was 25 years old, I put a business plan together, I sought venture capital, I sought investors and I was getting nowhere. It got to the point where I knew I had to do it myself. I pulled about $1 million in credit cards in just under 24 hours before the credit companies had time to cross-reference and that’s how we started.

You started Angel MedFlight in 2007. How were you able to start and grow a company in the middle of an economic crisis?
Instead of focusing on the financial climate, we’ve always put the patient first and we focus on doing the right thing the first time. As long as you always do that, you’ll be successful.

How are your challenges as CEO of Angel MedFlight different from challenges other CEOs face?
We have to deal with aviation, medical care, insurance regulations, HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) laws. We have to know all the state, federal and international laws inside and out and know how they intertwine. We have to have strict checks and balances in place and quality assurance processes to provide the best care possible. Other companies don’t have to deal with balancing as many different elements as we have to balance.

What qualities do you think an effective CEO has to have?
You need to learn how to manage yourself first and it begins with character. Once you learn to manage yourself and lead from the heart, you can then focus on effectively managing the organization.

What do you have to do to the planes to configure them for medical use?
There is a sled system that goes in where the seat rails are and the seats come out of the aircraft. There is a bed in in, an oxygen cylinder, suction units, that sort of thing. It’s all the same equipment that you would find in the emergency room of a hospital.

What have you done to distinguish yourself in the industry?
What we have done in order to create a greater continuity of care that is different from everyone else in the industry is that we have nurse case managers that are on the phones, working with the families and are familiar with what the families are going through and understand the medical components of what is going on with the patient.

How has Angel MedFlight changed your industry?
When I started, if someone needed a medical flight and they couldn’t pay cash, they weren’t going to fly. We came in and thought that this is something an insurance plan should cover. You’re not flying an infant in need of care from Tulsa to Rochester, Minn. for no reason. As a company, we have helped change that paradigm within the industry and more insurance companies have become more understanding about the medical need for our industry’s services.

Eric Marcus, CEO of Marcus Networking.

CEO Series: Eric Marcus

Eric Marcus
CEO, Marcus Networking

Az Business: What does Marcus Networking do?
Eric Marcus: We are a technology and telecommunications company. We manage people’s infrastructure. The easiest way to describe it is you can give us an empty building and we can cable it, bring in the dial tone, install the phone system, procure all the equipment, set up you private industry software, and then we can support it on a 24-hour basis. Our biggest customer base is medical providers. We work a lot with electronic medical records (EMR) and behavioral health.

Video by Cory Bergquist

AB: How is being CEO of Marcus Networking different from being CEO of a company in a different industry?
EM: It’s fun to be the CEO because I get to write my own rules. It’s nice to go out, meet with clients, build a relationship, and let them know that at the end of the day the company will be there for them and I will be there to support them.

AB: How did you start in your industry?
EM: I got into the IT field in 1999, working for a software company that did network management. That company grew from about 15 employees to about 155. As that company grew, my responsibilities grew.

AB: Were there challenges to launching a tech company in Arizona?
EM: For startup capital, I had to use money I had saved working at my previous job. The biggest challenge I had was with credit capital to support projects. You can sell a project all day long for $100,000, but if you don’t have the capital to buy the equipment, you’re kind of dead in the water.

AB: What qualities do you have that make you an effective CEO for Marcus Networking?
EM: I am able to educate a client about what they need to do for their company and let them make the decision. It’s their money, their business, their infrastructure, and at the end of the day it’s my job to be that consultant to educate them and take them from Point A to Point B and decide what is best to build them as a business.

AB: What has been the biggest change you’ve seen in your industry since you started?
EM: The advance of technology. What I mean by that is the cost of equipment and the specifications of equipment like hard drives and bandwidth. Ten years ago, a large hard drive was consider to be 73 gigs. Now, you can buy two- or three-terabyte hard drives for a fraction of that cost.

AB: What changes do you see coming?
EM: Equipment is going to get faster. As bandwidth becomes cheaper or larger, you’re going to see more teleconferencing and unified communication.

AB: What is your greatest accomplishment?
EM: Being in business for 10 years. Being a small business, it’s tough. We had our best years through the worst times. This year, our business is up 50 percent and I know there are companies out there closing their doors or downsizing. The thing I’m most proud is we can scale our business tomorrow, so if I found five salespeople in California tomorrow that wanted to come on board and start selling our product and grow our business, I could hire them tomorrow and start.

AB: How were you able to weather the economic downturn so well?
EM: We are in the medical industry. Doctors have to be on EMR systems. It’s mandated by the federal government, so the government has created a need for our services.

AB: What advice would you give someone looking to start a tech company?
EM: Make sure you’re very organized and make sure you’re ready to sacrifice and be ready to work any day and any time. If we have a doctor call us at 3 a.m. and we don’t pick up that phone, we don’t have a job.


Paul Winandy, WebPT

Paul Winandy, CEO at WebPT, shares what it is like to be the CEO of WebPT, which provides physical therapists with a Web-based electronic medical records system.

How did you end up as CEO of WebPT?

There is a group in town called the Arizona Technology Investor Forum, which focuses on early-stage technology investing. I was the managing director of that angel group, and I met (WebPT founders) Brad and Heidi Jannenga when they came in to present to the group. I looked over their strategy and vision and was really impressed and really enjoyed what they were bringing to the table.

Video by Cory Bergquist

What qualities do you have that helped WebPT triple in size in 2011?

My background is all in early stage technology startups. I’ve done about five in my career. My experience is taking those companies from the early stages and growing them to $10 million or $12 million in revenue. I’ve been through the wars and I’ve been through the battles, so I know what to do in terms of building the right team, bringing in the right resources and being able to grow the company fast.

What qualities do you think an effective CEO needs?

You have to be able to rely on your team. You have to realize what you bring to the table and you have to realize what you need to build out. In early-stage technology companies like WebPT, you have to have the ability to be able to get in there and get your hands dirty. I like that part of it. I like to be a hands-on CEO. But once you build up the team, you have to have the ability to let go and let that team be successful.

Are there benefits to starting a technology company in Arizona?

We’re a little bit under the radar in terms of the Silicon Valley mentality. In Silicon Valley, the mentality is “let’s get a great idea and get a little proof of the concept and then raise a bunch of money.” You can’t do that here in Arizona. You have to build a product that is out on the market generating sales before you can go out and raise a lot of money.

Are there any obstacles to starting a tech company in Arizona?

As much as being under the radar is beneficial, sometimes it’s nice to be out there in the spotlight so you can get the right talent. Phoenix has some phenomenally talented people, but we’re not as deep in the technology area as some other parts of the country.

Where do you see WebPT growing?

We need to stay focused on the physical therapy industry because that will allow us to be laser focused. There is a great market there. It’s a niche market, but it’s developing and it’s a very open and a very green field ready to embrace and adopt technology. There are about 30,000 physical therapy clinics and we have 2,100 now, so about eight percent of the market. So if we focus on that and become the dominant player, we’re going to have a nice, long track record.

What advice would you give someone looking to start a technology company in Arizona?

Solve a business need with whatever product you’re trying to develop. To be successful, it has to be something that is going to have a market demand. There are a lot of great ideas, but they cannot figure out how to make it solve a business need and get that first customer. So find out what is needed, create a way to solve that business need, and then go to market on that basis.

Vital Stats: Paul Winandy

  • Over the course of his 20-year career, Winandy has been an executive leader in four successful technology businesses, two of which were named to the Inc. 500 list and were later acquired by public firms.
  • For several years prior to WebPT, Winandy was an active business advisor and angel investor in fast-growing technology companies.
  • Before his advisory practice, Winandy was COO of SkillSurvey, a startup web services firm providing online reference assessment tools. Before that, he was director of strategic accounts for Khimetrics, a leading enterprise software firm specializing in revenue.

For more information about WebPT, visit their website at webpt.com

Arizona Business Magazine September/October 2012


ASBA Launches amAZing Small Business Video Contest

The Arizona Small Business Association (ASBA) has announced the launch of the “amAZing Small business Video Contest” to celebrate National Small Business Month in May. The goal is to honor the small businesses in Arizona that provide jobs and help drive the local economy. Contestants should submit a short video that tells the story of their company and explains why it is amazing.

The contest is open to all business in Arizona with 500 employees or less. The videos will be judged on creativity and message. The top five finalists and the overall winner will be voted upon by a panel of judges, including ASBA sponsors and key partners. All videos will be reviewed by ASBA staff to ensure they meet the submission guidelines.

Video submissions are due by Friday, April 13, and the winning video will be revealed at the 19th Annual Enterprise Business Awards Luncheon on May 1, 2012 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort. The video below explains more details about the contest.

The submission video should be no longer than two minutes. All videos should describe what the business does and explain why it is amazing. Be sure to use the phrase, “My small business is amazing because…” Upload the video to YouTube or another hosting site, and then send the link to marketing@asba.com.

Top 5 finalists receive:

  • One complimentary ticket to the 19th Annual Enterprise Business Awards Luncheon on May 1, 2012 — a $60 value
  • Video featured on the ASBA website and social media pages, such as Facebook, Twitter and the ASBA YouTube channel during National Small Business Month (May 2012)

The winner will additionally receive:

  • $500 cash prize provided by Sonoran Studios
  • Video featured at the 19th Annual Enterprise Business Awards Luncheon on May 1, 2012 to the 400 expected guests in attendance
  • Complimentary one year ASBA Membership – a value upwards of $585

For more information about the video contest, please visit asba.com/amazingbusiness.


Top 10 Super Bowl Commercials Of 2012

Top 10 Super Bowl Commercials Of 2012

Every year the biggest brands in America spend millions of dollars for a small window of advertisement during the biggest sporting event of the year. From the comedy of Jerry Seinfeld to the growling voice of Clint Eastwood, 2012’s Super Bowl commercials were pretty spot on.

The Coca-Cola polar bears even had me leave at half-time to go grab a drink at the nearby gas station.

And outside of the completely unoriginal Go Daddy ad that runs every year (and lost their shock factor about five years ago), this year’s commercials had a nice mixture of old and new themes. While some commercials like Honda’s “Bueller’s Day Off” might not be relatable to a younger audience, others like the M&M’s “I’m sexy and I know it” ad may have missed an older demographic.

Let’s take a look at my top 10 2012 Super Bowl commercials:

10. Bridgestone – Performance Basketball

Who doesn’t love Steve Nash?

9. Samsung – Thing Called Love

What’s more funny — the commercial or the fact that Samsung thinks reinventing the Palm Pilot is going to be “revolutionary”?

8. Toyota Camry – Reinvented

Is it weird that the DMV was the part I was most excited about?

7. Cars.com – Confident You

What’s not funny about a second head singing disco?

6. Honda CRV – Matthew’s Day Off

While bigger fans of Bueller’s Day Off might put this higher on their list, it gets the No. 6 spot for originality more than anything.

5. Bud Light – Rescue Dog

How many times did we all hear a friend say, “I’m going to train my dog to do that”?

4. Acura – NSX – Seinfeld

Jerry Seinfeld is one of the funniest comedians, ever. And it’s only fitting that Jay Leno is the villain to end the commercial. #TeamCoco

3. Chevrolet – Happy Grad

What’s not exciting about a mini-fridge?

2. M&M’s – Just My Shell

Somehow this chocolate candy keeps me laughing every year.

1. Chrysler – It’s Halftime America

Whose party got real quiet during this commercial? Yeah, I had chills.

Is this list missing any of your favorite 2012 Super Bowl commercials?
Let us know!

Super Bowl XLVI ~ Madonna & Kelly Clarkson Video

2012 Super Bowl Video ~ Madonna & Kelly Clarkson

Super Bowl XLVI
New York Giants vs. New England Patriots

Why Super Bowl Video? Before the Super Bowl the buzz is about the teams, but after the game it’s about everything else..

Kelly Clarkson ~ National Anthem

The first “American Idol” winner backed by a children’s choir, belted a pleasant and lyrically-correct version of the song. Nicely sung Kelly!

Madonna ~ Halftime Show

Madonna dazzled the Super Bowl crowd with a half-time show that started with an army of Roman gladiators and ended with plea for world peace written in lights. A single extended middle finger by guest singer M.I.A. seems to be the buzz on the Internet.  Madonna, nice performance; M.I.A. grow up.

2012 Arizona Color Run

2012 Arizona Color Run At Tempe Beach Park [Photos/Video]

Hundreds, it seemed, gathered at Tempe Beach Park in Tempe this Saturday, Jan. 28 for the most unique — and colorful — 5k in the Valley: the Color Run.

The Color Run made its first stop of the 20-city tour in Arizona; the race reached capacity with attendees of all ages and skill level, who all gathered for a healthy dose of exercise and the opportunity to get bombarded with none other than colored powder thrown by volunteers, sponsors and staff of the Color Run.

While many weren’t expecting the cloud of powder to make it difficult to breath, many coughing off to the side and attempting to catch their breath, it can be safe to say it was worth it. But what many probably didn’t know was that the product is 100 percent natural and safe. Based off their website, you can apparently eat the powder; many, if not all, of us did anyway.

Marking each kilometer was a yellow, green, blue, purple and pink blitzing station. Once the rainbow-hued cluster of runners reached the end, the party was just beginning. It was now time to collect as many leftover bags of color and prepare for the color throw.

Instead of describing the color throw, view it for yourself:

The best part? Proceeds from the 2012 Arizona Color Run benefit Banner Health’s Cardon Children’s Medical Center.

The AZ Big Media team took part in the Color Run, and we had an incredible time — we’re still sore (and stained from the powder)! If you were there, too, what did you think? Share your thoughts, and your photos, too!

View photos from the 2012 Arizona Color Run:

2012 Arizona Color Run

For more information about the 2012 Color Run, and to find out how you can get involved, visit thecolorrun.com.


AZ Virtual Studios

The Importance of Website Videos With AZ Virtual Studios

We’ve been thinking about videos a lot lately here at the AZNow.Biz office. We know adding them to your website is great for SEO, but we had many questions, including: What videos work on websites? Which should we stay away from? How many do we need to put on the website? And how often should we post them?

And then we stumbled up on this:

Uploading a short video onto your website can drastically increase your page ranking! We can assist you with the creation of a powerful social media video that pulls in more clients.

Found on AZ Virtual Studios‘s website, we contacted them right away and shortly after sat down with John Koop, COO of AZ Virtual Studios.

AZ Virtual Studios is a production company in the Phoenix area — boasting the largest green screen in the state — that can produce any type of video, including 3D animation, from start to finish. We asked them the video-related questions that were on our minds.

Koop discussed the clients they’ve created videos for in the past, including Boeing and Freeport-McMoRan, as well as the importance of adding video content to your website(s). He told us what kind of videos work; he touched on the viral videos they’ve worked on and more.

[stextbox id=”grey”]For more information about AZ Virtual Studios, visit www.azvirtualstudios.com.[/stextbox]


Don Cardon, Arizona Commerce Authority

Don Cardon: The Driving Force Behind The Arizona Commerce Authority

A political appointee with a successful track record in the private sector, Don Cardon has become the face of the new and innovating Arizona Commerce Authority. While Gov. Jan Brewer is chair of the public/private economic development agency and sports mogul Jerry Colangelo serves as co-chair, it is Cardon, as president and CEO, who has his hands on the reins.

Leaders who have gotten to know Cardon better during the process of creating the Arizona Commerce Authority say he keeps his cool at all times, in good days and bad, is respectful of all points of view, is thoughtful, and someone who projects an element of stability for the state of Arizona.

But even more importantly, according to Roy Vallee, outgoing chairman and CEO of Avnet, are Cardon’s financial skills.

“Not only does he have numeric literacy, (he also has an)  understanding of financing, how to pull deals together and how to interact with banks and other sources of capital,” Vallee says.

Cardon began his employment with state government in March 2009 as director of the Arizona Department of Housing, and just a couple of months later Brewer appointed him director of the Arizona Department of Commerce, predecessor of the ACA. Before joining the state, Cardon was president and CEO of Cardon Development Group, creating low-income workforce housing projects in Phoenix, Gilbert, Eloy and Winslow, and was the visionary behind the group that helped create CityScape, a mixed-use development in Downtown Phoenix.

Cardon’s stated intention was to see the ACA through its formative stage until a permanent president and CEO could be brought onboard, enabling him to return to the more lucrative private sector. But as the ACA board of directors took shape, comprising the cream of Arizona’s business and community leaders, Cardon was urged by Brewer, Colangelo and board member Michael Manson to remain.

“We sat him down and said you can’t create vision and hope with no structure or follow through,” says Manson, co-founder/executive chairman of Motor Excellence in Flagstaff. “That’s the worst kind of leadership. He realized that was true. We identified him as one of the few people in the state who had the political connections, the Commerce Department background and the business connections to make this work.”

Manson, who has founded several other companies, including PETsMART, says Cardon brings enthusiasm, energy and integrity to the ACA.

“He’s eternally optimistic and politically sensitive,” Manson says. “It takes a unique person to be politically rooted, but business oriented, and to be able to handle all of the political and business entities and very strong personalities it requires. He is truly focused on doing the right things for this organization.”

Indeed, focus is a key word in Cardon’s vocabulary. In guiding the ACA, the focus is attracting and retaining businesses in science and technology, aerospace/defense, renewable energy, and small business/entrepreneurship. He once told an interviewer: “You can’t just kind of throw a line in water and say whatever fish comes along you’ll take, which isn’t to say we won’t respond to any other opportunities. But you have to know what you’re trying to go after.”

At the Commerce Department, economic development was “a shotgun approach,” Cardon says. It was an approach he intends to avoid.
“There was no focus within the department,” he says. “Because of the lack of focus, I don’t believe the Legislature has had a great deal of confidence in our efficiency, our ability to accomplish what we set out to do. It was an agency that has really lost touch with what it’s really supposed to be about.”

Another ACA board member, Mary Peters, president of a consulting group bearing her name, touts Cardon’s private-sector background.
“Don understands what it takes to attract and retain businesses in Arizona,” says Peters, whose resume includes stints as federal highway administrator of the U.S. Department of Transportation in President George W. Bush’s administration from 2006-2009, and director of the Arizona Department of Transportation from 1998 to 2001.

“He knows how to put projects together and how to manage,” Peters says. “That’s the value I see in Don and what he brings in the transition from the Commerce Department, having that continuity. Having spent most of my professional career in the public sector, it’s helpful for me to have someone with that private-sector experience to realize what businesses are looking for. I have a different perspective. I know very well the regulatory side of government. I know what it’s like to work through issues with government agencies so those issues aren’t barriers to companies that would like to come into Arizona.”

When Vallee of Avnet, also on the ACA board, heard about a move to encourage Cardon to accept the top ACA job, even after a search firm had been hired and specs of the job had been outlined, his instant reaction was, “That’s fantastic.”

The reasons: Cardon had a good track record at the Commerce Department and had been intimately involved in the creation of the Commerce Authority.

“He understands the history and the purpose of what we’re trying to accomplish,” Vallee says. “This was a brand new entity, and if we recruit someone who had not been involved in creating it, that person would flounder for a while trying to figure out what the job is all about.”

Because the ACA is a public/private partnership, having a CEO with experience and expertise in both areas is considered a huge benefit.

“He is better able to manage that environment very, very well — better than anyone with one viewpoint or the other,” Vallee says.

Vallee mentions Cardon’s core values, especially integrity.

“We all want someone in that role we can trust,” he says. “People are going to want to do business with someone they can trust, whether it’s investment coming from within state or from outside. As people get to know Don and develop that trust, it’s going to be beneficial to economic development.”

Vallee pauses and adds, “Don is a good man and a good executive, which makes him a really great fit for this job.”

[stextbox id=”grey”]For more information about the Arizona Commerce Authority, visit www.azcommerce.com.[/stextbox]

Arizona Business Magazine September/October 2011


Zombies Vs. Vampires: Which Side Are You On?

Zombies Vs. Vampires: Which Side Are You On?

I like zombies. Something about the walking dead has appealed to me since I was a kid. They are the working class of the monster realm.

I have found that a gender gap exists when it comes to zombies. Guys tend to like them, and girls prefer vampires.

Zombies and vampires are both undead and they both consume people (either flesh or blood), but vampires are complicated. You never know for sure if they are trying to seduce you or kill you. I admit vampires are sexy. Let’s see someone try to write a series of novels about a high school girl falling in love with a zombie. It won’t happen.

Vampires have a lot of rules. Don’t go out in the light; be afraid of garlic; don’t get staked in the heart, and NEVER kill another vampire. The vampire rule list goes on and on. Zombies are easy; they eat people. Vampires have to bite you three times. What’s that about? Zombies only have to scratch you, and you’re toast.

No, zombies are a guy’s kind of monster. They walk around and eat. They like red meat, and they don’t engage in conversation. They just growl and grunt. What you see is what you get (even in a mirror).

I will also admit that I am a zombie purist. I hate it when the people that make movies or television shows portray zombies wrong. Zombies don’t sprint. They can limp fast on their broken legs and twisted ankles, but they do not run fast. Getting away from one is easy. Getting through a crowd of 300 of them is the problem.

Zombies don’t talk — at all! Not even to say things like “brains, braaains.” And come on, zombies do not crave brains! They like any flesh at all. If they only get one bite at you, they’re probably going for an arm or a leg. In fact, if they pin you to the ground, they aren’t going to gnaw on your cranium. They are going for your torso stuffed full of organs and intestines. They will usually pull them out so that their buddy zombies can have some, too. I think the whole “zombies eat brains” thing started with some vegan sci-fi writer that wanted to help the walking dead eat healthier.

When it’s not a serious zombie movie, it’s okay for some zombie liberties to be taken. Of course, real zombies don’t play video games like in “Shaun of the Dead,” and they don’t dance like in Michael Jackson videos. That’s just for fun. But if you’re making a serious zombie movie like “I Am Legend” or “28 Days Later” follow the rules!

No, vampires are confusing, complicated and relational. Zombies are simple.

Calling All Zombies: Third Annual Zombie Walk

For those who wish they were a zombie, well, you’re in luck. Join the zombie horde at the Third Annual Zombie Walk this Saturday, October 29th. The fest starts at 2 p.m. with live music; the Zombie Walk begins at 6 p.m., and the event ends with a performance by The Relics.

The event is free with a canned food donation for St. Mary’s Food Bank.

Zombie Walk 2011


Zombie Walk 2010

For more information about the Annual Zombie Walk, visit www.downtownphoenix.com/zombie.

University of Phoenix, Glendale, 2015 Super Bowl

Arizona Lands 2015 Super Bowl

The third time is the charm as the NFL today awarded the 2015 Super Bowl to University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.

NFL owners meeting in Houston picked the Valley of the Sun over Tampa, Fla., for the 2015 game, Arizona previously hosted the Super Bowl in 1996 (at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe) and in 2008 (at UOP Stadium).

The Super Bowl is expected to add a much-needed boost to the state’s sagging economy. In 2008, fans spent an estimated $500 million when the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots 17-14.

According to the Associated Press, Phoenix beat the Tampa area in the bidding on the second ballot. Tampa has hosted the game in 1984, 1991, 2001 and 2009. The 2012 Super Bowl is in Indianapolis. The next two after that will be in New Orleans and the New York/New Jersey area.

In a statement released today, the City of Glendale expressed pride in being the host city, calling the game, “ an economic engine that benefits our entire state. This decision is a positive reinforcement on the entire region, highlighting our ability to put Arizona on a stage for the world to see.

“Glendale’s opportunity to host a Super Bowl honors the continued commitment to Arizona voters to use the state-of-the-art University of Phoenix stadium and the amenities and infrastructure that were built around the stadium in Glendale to attract hundreds of thousands of people while also pumping money into the local economy. “

It will be Super Bowl XLIX – the 49th title game.

Video: Super Bowl heads back to the desert

Read more about the 2015 Super Bowl news from the Associated Press.


Runoff Election, Early Voting Phoenix Mayor, Council

Phoenix Mayor And Council Runoff Election Early Voting

Phoenix Mayor And Council Runoff Election Early Voting

Do you know who you’re voting for for Phoenix mayor? After viewing that heated debate between Greg Stanton and Wes Gullett, you’re probably ready to submit your vote early. Luckily you can, in just a few days ― Thursday, October 13th. The mayoral election takes place November 8.

As many know, the race for mayor has been dwindled down to the final two, who held a debate on Wednesday, October 5. The debate covered Gullett’s lobbying firm, SB 1070 and the candidates rated City Manager David Cavozos’s performance.

Debate Highlights:

Regarding Gullett’s lobbying firm, Stanton suggested he would have too many conflicts of interested as mayor. Gullett ensured there would be no conflicts, as he will divest interest in his firm if elected.

Gullett also brought up an investigation dating back to 2007 when Stanton supported Maricopa Community Colleges as an elected official while simultaneously paid by the district. Stanton admitted he had a few slips and that these were unintentional.

Regarding SB 1070, candidates were asked if they would have voted for the bill as it had passed in the state legislature two years ago. Gullett said yes, supporting the fight against drug cartels and human smuggling; Stanton said no.

Stanton refused to rate City Manager David Carvazos’ performance on a scale of one to 10, saying good leaders don’t “prejudge people.” He said that if elected, he would rate Carvazos then. Gullett said that Carvazos hasn’t acted urgently enough.

Early Voting for the Runoff Election:

Mark your calendars; early voting for the city of Phoenix Mayor and Council November Runoff Election begins October 13 and continues through November 4.

Voters can cast their early ballots during business hours at Phoenix City Hall:

Phoenix City Hall
200 W. Washington St., 15th floor
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In addition to electing a mayor, voters in Districts 1 and 5 will elect a council member.

More Voting Sites:

Voting sites open Saturday, October 22. Here are the locations, dates and times:


Saturday, October 22
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Mesquite Branch Library

4525 E. Paradise Village Pkwy.

Sunnyslope Community Center

802 E. Vogel Ave.

South Mountain Community Center

212 E. Alta Vista Rd.

Saturday, October 29
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Deer Valley Community Center

2001 W. Wahalla Ln.

Desert West Community Center

6501 W. Virginia Ave.

Devonshire Senior Center

2802 E. Devonshire Ave.


Voting Via Mail:

If you’re interested in voting for the Phoenix Mayor and Council November Runoff Election via snail mail, request forms for a city ballot are available for download at the Elections Division website. The City Clerk Department must receive your request by Friday, Oct. 28, no later than 5 p.m.

Voters can call (602) 261-VOTE (8683) and request an early ballot request postcard, or mail a signed letter listing their name, address and phone number to:
City Clerk Department, Elections Division
200 W. Washington St., 15th Floor
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Deadline for Voted Early Ballots:

Voted early ballots must be received by the City Clerk no later than 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 8 ― Election Day.

Early ballots may also be dropped off at an early voting site or voting center during voting hours.


[stextbox id=”grey”]For more information about the Phoenix Mayor and Council November Runoff Election, please visit the city of Phoenix’s website phoenix.gov/election or call the City Clerk Department at (602) 261-VOTE (8683).[/stextbox]


Steve Jobs, founder of Apple

Lesson Learned From Steve Jobs: People Before Products

People before product. This is an important lesson taught by Steve Jobs who passed away Wednesday, October 5.

Steve Jobs created a culture of innovation.

His attitude of putting the customer and people first, changed the way we communicate today not only on a personal level but also on a business level.

The needs of consumers are what drove product development. By listening to what it was people wanted, Apple was able to deliver products that would exceed expectations.

This strategy is one that led to enhanced business innovation. 

Through the advancement of computers, smartphones and tablets, society has become more agile.  Business is able to be done in real time and teams are now meeting virtually, or in the cloud. Collaboration is changed by the ability to reach out to colleagues and make decisions from locations other than places with a ceiling and four walls.

People are benefiting dramatically from this mobility. Moms can now work from home and still be home with their children. Businesses reduce costs by cutting unnecessary overhead. And society benefits from the fewer cars on the road by eliminating the commute to and from the office.

With the development of mobile devices, came the development of cloud technology, which further led businesses to be able to be mobile. 

In the first generation of this cloud technology, solutions were innovated to solve specific business needs, such as document sharing or web/video conferencing. From something as simple as putting email on a smartphone, or as advanced as being able to see a web/video conference on their tablet while in an airport, solutions popped up for these revolutionary devices. And again, the nature in which we do business changed.

The need for these solutions were great, but with such a variety of single solution offerings, businesses were encountered with a new problem of administrative headaches from multiple programs and bills to manage. And innovators listened. Following the strategy of Steve Jobs, people, again, came before products.

The development of the next generation of solutions that will make doing business easier is almost here, and businesses will soon be able to get back to what they do best.

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Water Conservation, City of Phoenix

Water Conservation Tips For your Business

In the desert, water is scarce, and water and sewer charges can really add up. The City of Phoenix has partnered with numerous water conservation associations to stay in the know and help its customers conserve water and save money.

Upgrading to low-water appliances and equipment will eventually have the equipment paying for itself. But the quickest and most immediate return is changing employee and customer behavior. Communicate your conservation message to your customers and suppliers, and be proud of the change your business can have on the Arizona ecology.

Water conservation doesn’t just save your business money. The City of Phoenix’s website lists four more reasons to participate in water conservation:

  • Reduced wastewater costs and less spending on water treatment chemicals
  • Energy savings from using less energy to heat, pump and treat water
  • Environmental benefits
  • Positive publicity resulting from your conservation efforts


The City of Phoenix provides these tips to help your business reap the benefits of water conservation as listed above:

  • Make water efficiency a factor when choosing new equipment. Take into account the cost savings that can accrue over the lifetime of a unit. Look for industry-specific opportunities to save water.
  • Use waterless technologies where available. This could range from switching to waterless urinals in men’s rooms to using waterless woks in your kitchen to replacing old photo-development or x-ray equipment with modern digital technologies.
  • Eliminate all technology operating with “once-through” (continuous water flow) systems such as once-through cooling.
  • Reuse and recycle water wherever possible; wastewater from some indoor sources can be used outdoors for irrigation.
  • Install automatic devices to turn water off when equipment is not in use.
  • Restrict water pressure and flow rates where possible (install pressure-restricting valves, add aerators to existing faucets).
  • Consider installing sub-meters on major water-using units to track water use.


Water Conservation Outdoors: Knowing How and Where to Look for Leaks

If your business has a separate outdoor water meter you can check for leaks by shutting off outdoor water use and monitoring the meter. This is called sub-metering, and sub-meters (point-of-use meters) can be used for indoor fixtures, pools, sprinkler systems and large heating or cooling equipment.

However, if you feel that the leak maybe underground, a leak detection specialist will use echo correlation to find the source of the leak.

Water Conservation Landscaping

Growing plants that are accustom to an arid climate will aid in water conservation and save money on high water bills.

The City of Phoenix has four tips to conserve water when landscaping for your business:

  • Harvesting Rainwater is a practical (and free) form of irrigating both large and small landscapes. This is done by using the right type of plants and creating a simple system of berms (mounds) and swales (ditches). If done right, this system can reduce or even eliminated the need of using metered, potable water.
  • Another way to harvest rainwater is collecting and storing roof water runoff. Contact an expert to ensure you are safely storing the water and not creating a breeding ground for mosquitoes, which can be hazardous.
  • Hydrozoning is simple; you will save water by planting the hardiest, most heat-tolerant plants right next to walkways, which are generally hotter, and by grouping plants that have similar water requirements together to reduce superfluous watering.
  • Nearly every business in Arizona has an irrigation system, and the best way to conserve water is to keep the irrigation system well maintained. The City of Phoenix recommends getting regular inspections of sprinklers and irrigation systems to spot leaks or misaligned heads.


Water Conservation Remodeling

When it comes to saving money and conserving water on the inside of your business, water smart remodeling is the way to go. When deciding on interior upgrades, the City of Phoenix recommends tankless water heaters, pressure reducers, aerators, and high-efficiency fixtures and appliances to reduce water use.

  • Tankless water heaters: When replacing water heaters, a “tankless” heater that heats water instantly can reduce use from hot water taps by up to 20 percent.
  • Pressure reducers: Adding or retrofitting existing technologies with pressure regulators that keep pressure to all fixtures below 70 psi can reduce water use and offer quick return on investment.
  • Aerators: For only a few dollars, retrofitting faucets with aerators increases water-efficiency instantly.
  • Install high-efficiency fixtures and appliances: Water-efficient fixtures and appliances include low-flow shower heads, faucets, toilets and urinals. High-performance dishwashers, clothes washers and a wide range of industry-specific technologies are also available for your business.


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Fashion by Robert Black

Q&A With Robert Black Of Fashion By Robert Black [VIDEO]

AZNow.Biz sat down with Robert Black, who co-owns the vintage couture boutique Fashion by Robert Black, located in downtown Scottsdale, Ariz.

Robert Black and co-owner Doreen Picerne traveled and shopped around the world, handpicking clothing and accessories for the store — items you won’t find anywhere else in Scottsdale, including vintage red carpet couture, special occasion designer pieces, accessories and other one-of-a-kind finds.

Black spoke with us about how Fashion by Robert Black came about, his marketing strategies, his thoughts about opening a business in this economic climate, and his future plans for his company.


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Fashion by Robert Black

7144 East 1st Avenue
Scottsdale, Arizona
(480) 664-7770



Studio 5, Kelly Cappelli

Studio 5: Photography and Music Studio with Kelly Cappelli

A Crash Course on Studio 5

By Kristine Cannon

Kelly Cappelli of Studio 5 educates us about her photography and music production studio, located in an abandoned elementary school.

Cappelli discusses why it was chosen to locate the studio in an elementary school, and she also touches on her past and present projects as well as the success of Studio 5 thus far.

Video by Cory Bergquist

The Studio 5 Scoop: Studio5 Presents

By Kristine Cannon

Studio 5 recently began showcasing four bands, seven days a week, rotating nine shows at Center Stage Bar at Hyatt Gainey Resort in Scottsdale.

“This is a partnership between Studio 5 and the Hyatt for at least the next year,” Cappelli says.

Produced by Myles David Lancette of Studio5 Presents, the opening event featured Lea Cappelli, Myles David Lancette, Spain and The Waters. These four artists and musical groups performed for over 300 attendees at each show during its opening weekend at the Hyatt.

“It was extremely successful, and the community has already been buzzing about the shows,” Cappelli says, “There have been many people returning to see the full 90-minute shows all week long.”

Cappelli says Studio 5 is an incredible opportunity for the artists as well as an amazing partnership between the Hyatt and Studio 5.

“The Hyatt is a fantastic venue and a wonderful platform for each musician to shine and bring quality music to the Hyatt and our community and expand their fan base,” Cappelli says.

For more information about Studio5 Presents as well as dates for future shows with Lea Cappelli, Myles David Lancette, Spain and The Waters, visit studio5presents.com.

Spain performs The Civil Wars’ “Barton Hollow”:

Video by Cory Bergquist

[stextbox id=”grey”]Studio 5
1201 N. 85th Pl., Suite 106
Scottsdale, AZ 85257
(480) 390-5791

Executive Chef Stephen Toevs, bistro 24, Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix

The Recipe for Success: Stephen Toevs, Executive Chef, Bistro 24

AZNow.Biz visited European-inspired bistro 24 at the Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix, and sat down with Executive Chef Stephen Toevs, who discussed how he creates an efficient working environment in the kitchen, as well as the inspiration behind his dishes and more.

Learn how to make the steak in the video:

Steak Au Poivre
Created by: Executive Chef Stephen Toevs
The Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix


Yields: 1 serving

1 10oz New York Strip Steak3 tbsp black peppercorn toasted and crushed

2 Idaho potatoes cut in French Fry style

1 cup demi glace

¼ cup heavy cream

2 oz cognac2 tbsp chopped parsley

2 tsp chopped garlic

2 tbsp butter

3 tbsp green peppercorns


Executive Chef, Stephen Toevs, bistro 24

1.  Preheat oven to 500 degrees.  Pull steak from refrigerator and season with olive oil, salt, and cracked black pepper.  Let sit for 15 minutes.  In a hot, cast iron skillet sear steak for 3 – 4 minutes on each side.  For medium doneness put steak in oven for 4 additional minutes, pull and rest on a plate. 

2.  Deep fry cut potatoes until golden brown toss with sautéed garlic, fresh parsley, sea salt and pepper.

Au Poivre Sauce

Pre-heat a thick bottom sauce pan, add 2 oz of cognac liquor, then add 1 cup demi glace and bring to a simmer.  Add heavy cream and simmer again.  Add green peppercorns, and whisk in 2 tbsp butter.  Sauce should be slightly thick.

Plate steak with seasoned crispy fries and sauce over the top. Enjoy!

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If You Go: bistro 24, The Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix

2401 E. Camelback Rd.
Phoenix, Arizona 85016
(602) 468-0700


2011 Most Admired Companies - AZ Business Magazine September/October 2011

2011 MAC Leadership Excellence: Arizona Diamondbacks

The 2011 Most Admired Companies Leadership Excellence category recognized the Arizona Diamondbacks for its great leaders who have shared knowledge and inspired employees and the community.

Arizona Diamondbacks

AZ Diamondbacks: 2011 MAC Winner

Category: Leadership Excellence
Headquarters: Phoenix
Year Est.: 1998
No. of Employees in AZ: 225
Recent Award: 2010 United Nations NGO Positive Peace Award
| Facebook | Twitter

The quality of a leadership team can make or break a company. Dynamic leaders will embrace, support and promote desired corporate values, vision and culture. They also will connect effectively with their employees to ensure that all members of the team are properly trained, motivated and empowered to carry out their jobs.

This year’s spotlight award winner — Arizona Diamondbacks — truly leads by example. Leadership excellence starts at the top with their managing general partner and president & CEO. They have made a conscious decision to not only care for their employees but the state of Arizona as well. In exchange, the organization is comprised of hard-working, innovative employees that offer exceptional service to fans and community members alike.

The Arizona Diamondbacks offers complimentary tickets, an employee of the month program, which includes an annual trip and extra education via D-backs University.

2011 Most Admired Companies Awards - Leadership Excellence

View the entire list of 2011 Most Admired Companies winners.

Order your official 2011 Arizona’s Most Admired Companies plaque.



2011 Most Admired Companies, AZ Business Magazine September/October 2011

2011 MAC Customer Opinion: International Cruise and Excursions

The 2011 Most Admired Companies Customer Opinion category recognizes International Cruise and Excursions for delivering exceptional customer service.

2011 Most Admired Companies, Customer OpinionInternational Cruise and Excursions

Category: Customer Opinion
Headquarters: Phoenix
Year Est.:
No. of Employees in AZ:
Recent Award:
2010 ASU Spirit of Enterprise Innovator Award

Great organizations like the Most Admired winners know that happy customers are created by happy employees. It’s no surprise that all our winners, especially International Cruise & Excursions, have a great track record of customer service.

With best practices in hiring, staffing, training, employee enrichment, process improvement, surveys, and metrics, all with the customer experience in mind, our winner represents a holistic approach that makes them shine.

What makes ICE stand out?

International Cruise and Excursions offers flexible work schedules and even in-house dry cleaning and manicures for employees.

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About International Cruise and Excursions:

International Cruise and Excursions provides clients the ability to leverage the power and appeal of vacations through fully branded travel and cruise programs with access to flights, cruises, hotels, resorts, tours, car rental and packaged products via a proven e-commerce platform partnered with full service state of the art call center, customer service and fulfillment operations.

With the implementation of innovative sales and marketing programs that delivered the dream of cruising to vacationers worldwide, ICE cultivated powerful, long-standing relationships with every major cruise line across the globe  and further strengthened its product lines with the addition of more than 30,000 high quality resort and hotel options along with a broad range of worldwide experiential tours.

ICE is truly global with company headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona and office locations in key markets including San Diego, California, the United Kingdom, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and Austria.


2011 Most Admired Companies Awards - Customer Opinion

View the entire list of 2011 Most Admired Companies winners.

 Order your official 2011 Arizona’s Most Admired Companies plaque.


2011 Most Admired Companies, AZ Business Magazine September/October 2011

2011 MAC Workplace Culture: CHW Arizona

The 2011 Most Admired Companies Awards recognized CHW Arizona for having a unique workplace offering employees benefits and perks, and emphasizing diversity and other qualities — making the company a great place to work.

CHW Arizona, 2011 Most Admired Companies Winner

CHW Arizona

Category: Workplace Culture
Headquarters: San Francisco
Year Est.: 1961
No. of Employees in AZ: 8,682
Recent Award: 2011 Joint Commission Certified Primary Stroke Center Award
www.chwhealth.org | www.stjosephs-phx.org | Facebook | Twitter

The most successful organizations, like all our MAC winners, create company cultures where people matter. Where employees trust management, are proud of their work, and enjoy their jobs. Clear company values and a shared mission create the cornerstone of a positive company culture.

Our spotlight winner in Workplace Culture — CHW Arizona — is a mission-based organization that has been recognized numerous times locally and nationally for best practices that demonstrate their values of dignity, collaboration, justice, stewardship and culture. It’s not just a job; it’s about improving the quality of life. This organization encourages their employees to live their lives with purpose.  

In Catholic Healthcare West of Arizona’s work environment, employees can take free zumba, yoga and other fitness classes, choose which medical plan they prefer, and enjoy an employee appreciation night at a Rattlers game.


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About CHW West:

Excellent care, delivered with compassion, for all in need. It’s what we stand for.

We are dedicated to delivering high-quality, affordable health care services in a compassionate environment that meets each patient’s physical, mental and spiritual needs. Upholding the core values of dignity, justice, stewardship, collaboration, and excellence, our healing philosophy serves not just our patients, but our staff, our communities, and our planet.

At Catholic Healthcare West (CHW) a family of more than 60,000 caregivers and staff are delivering excellent care to diverse communities across Arizona, California and Nevada. Founded in 1986 and headquartered in San Francisco Catholic Healthcare West (CHW) is the fifth largest hospital provider in the nation and the largest hospital system in California.

Through teamwork and innovation, faith and compassion, advocacy and action, we endeavor every day to keep you happy, healthy, and whole.



2011 Most Admired Companies Awards - Workplace Culture

View the entire list of 2011 Most Admired Companies winners.

Order your official 2011 Arizona’s Most Admired Companies plaque.